5 tips to boost diversity and inclusion from South African business leaders

While most South African technology executives believe that diversity and inclusion (D&I) is important, few are getting it right. Here’s what you can do to change that.

fortune gamanya
Fortune Gamanya

About 80% of South African business leaders cited diversity and inclusion (D&I) as “important” or “urgent/very important” to their business, according to Deloitte’s 2019 Global Human Capital Trends report. And yet, research shows that progress remains inadequate.

For example, out of more than 26,000 South African businesses surveyed, only 11% of top management was Black African, and out of the 277 companies listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, just 29.5% of executive managers were women, according to the report.

While the tech sector has promoted D&I initiatives, companies still have difficulty juggling such efforts and other priorities, business consultants say. Organisations are ecosystems that need diverse groups of organisms in order to thrive and evolve, says Pabi Mogosetsi, country manager for Universum SA, an employer branding agency. Each of these different organisms bring something different to the table, the combination of which helps businesses to work smarter, to target customers more strategically and to do things differently.

pabi mogosetsi Pabi Mogosetsi

Pabi Mogosetsi is country manager for Universum SA

“When we create a diverse workforce, we create the opportunity to mirror the market we serve, which allows us to meet the consumers at their point of need,” says Fortune Gamanya, associate director for organisation transformation and human capital at Deloitte South Africa. “This means increased revenue. It’s a no brainer really. Diversity and inclusion (D&I) is not a feel-good initiative, but a business imperative.” And the data proves this. A 2020 Mckinsey study found that companies with more diverse executives outperform their more homogenous competition. 

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